Anyone remember the '90s party game "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon"? It started as a way to connect Hollywood stars to other stars by only six degrees, through the films of Footloose actor Kevin Bacon.
The game can be played in Portland, too. But instead of actors we have chefs. And there is only one chef who can fill that role. In the world of Portland restaurants, Kevin Bacon is Park Kitchen executive chef and owner Scott Dolich.
Name your favorite chef—or even one you'd like to see dead, for that matter—and chances are Scott Dolich has either worked in the same kitchen or worked alongside someone who has. It's not that Dolich has worked every place, it's just that he worked at almost every place that mattered during his early days in Portland. He arrived in 1992 to visit friends on his way to Spain, and had a multiyear layover that began at ground zero of Portland's new dining scene: Zefiro's storybook kitchen. Before long, Dolich was moonlighting at Pazzo.
"I came for a visit, and before I knew it I had two jobs, a girlfriend and an apartment I loved," says Dolich.
Dolich finally made it to Spain, and for the next 11 years, before he debuted in a leading role at Park Kitchen, widely considered one of Portland's best restaurants, he'd taken supporting positions at places like Wildwood, Higgins and Tapeo. His résumé proves that no one in Portland who dons a white coat and checkered pants is more than a few degrees away from everyone else in the restaurant game.